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UNI 2010 Survey of Iowa Small Business (Summary)

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					                                 University of Northern Iowa
                              2010 Survey of Iowa Small Business
                                     Summary of Results
Background
MyEntre.Net is an entrepreneurship support system developed in 2003 at the University
of Northern Iowa. Today, more than 8,600 Iowa business owners representing every
county in the state of Iowa are engaged online at MyEntre.Net. About 15 new small
businesses join MyEntre.Net every day.




     Entrepreneurs
     By County 2011




UNI conducts a regular survey of these business owners to assist policy makers, legislators, economic
developers and service providers to understand who is doing business in the state, what services and
resources they need- and to quantify the economic impact of small business in the state of Iowa.

Methodology:                                            Respondent Demographics:
The UNI 2010 Survey of Iowa Small Business
collected information about the economic                 Business owners responded from 91 of
status of Iowa small businesses between                   Iowa’s 99 counties
January 2010 and December 2010. Eight
thousand five hundred business owners were               Respondents employ 2,285 Iowans.
invited by email to complete the survey
between December 15th 2010 and January 15th              53% of responding business owners are
2011. In addition, MyEntre.Net members were               located in rural Iowa counties with a
contacted by telephone and provided online                population of less than 50,000. The
links to the survey at www.myentre.net.                   remaining 47% are based in urban counties.

A total of 459 surveys make up the 2010 report,          About half (52%) of the small businesses
yielding a margin of error of +/- 4.45 at the 95%         responding to the survey are self employed,
confidence interval. The sample responses are             an additional 39% are Stage 1 businesses
within +/- 4.45 percent of what they would                (2–9 employees) and the remaining 9% are
have been if responses had been received from             Stage 2 businesses (10-99 employees).
all 8,500 individuals included inthe survey
population. The following is a summary of
these findings.



1                                                       Copyright University of Northern Iowa 2011
                                University of Northern Iowa
                             2010 Survey of Iowa Small Business
                                    Summary of Results

Optimism Outlook:                                 As compared to the last six months of 2009,
Overall, survey respondents are optimistic         business starts increased by 11% and
about Iowa’s economic outlook.                     business expansions increased by 7%
                                                   during 2010.
 A majority of small business owners (71%)
  feel that Iowa’s economy is moving in the       The number of small businesses that
  right direction; another 78% believe that        reported either downsizing or static sales
  Iowa is a good state to start a business.        dropped from 72% in the last six months of
                                                   2009, to 55% in 2010.
 More than half of small business owners
  (58%) indicate they have not seen any             70%
  improvement in how their local community          60%
  supports entrepreneurs, while 42% believe         50%
                                                    40%
  their community is more supportive than in        30%
   2010.                                            20%
                                                    10%
                                                     0%
Business Characteristics:
 81% of surveyed small business owners are
currently operating a business.

 19% of those surveyed are not in business;
  11% haven’t started yet and 8% report they
  closed in 2010.                                                    2010       Jul-Dec 2009

 Of those currently operating a business,
  54% indicated they are involved in a service
                                                 Employment:
  business, 27% in retail, 8% manufacturing,
                                                 Small business owners added modest numbers
  8% technology and 3% are in wholesale.
                                                 of new jobs during 2010. 105 business owners
                                                 reported adding employees in 2010, for a total
    60%                                          of 174.5 new FTE jobs.
    50%
    40%
    30%                                           32% report they plan to hire new staff
    20%                                            during 2011.
    10%
     0%
                                                  Of those not planning new hires, 25%
                                                   indicated they did not have the necessary
                                                   financing to add employees and 17% cited
                                                   the poor economy.


 41% of all 459 respondents reported
  starting or expanding a business in 2010.
  80 reported starting a business, while 103
  expanded an existing small business.




2                                                Copyright University of Northern Iowa 2011
                                  University of Northern Iowa
                               2010 Survey of Iowa Small Business
                                      Summary of Results

Investment and Sales:
Most small business owners invested money         Business Problems:
into their business in 2010. Of 362 responses,    Respondents were asked to identify their most
70% reported investing a total of $10,861,381.    pressing business problems during 2010. Issues
Sales continue to be sluggish, but have           included taxes, health care and benefits,
improved over the last six months of 2009.        finance, government regulations, inflation,
                                                  finding quality employees, competition and lack
 Entrepreneurs invested nearly $1 of equity      of sales.
  into their businesses for every $1 of
  commercial loan financing they secured in
  2010.                                                        Business Concerns
 50% of all small business owners surveyed               Taxes                        Lack of Sales
  are planning for new capital investment                 Inflation                    Gov. Regs.
  during 2011.
                                                          Health Ins. & Benefits       Finance & Int. Rates
 During 2010, 44% of reporting businesses                Finding Qual. Emp.           Competition
  indicated their sales had increased, up from
  30% reporting increased sales in the last six          49%
  months of 2009.                                               29% 28% 27% 27% 24% 19% 17%


 22% of respondents indicated sales had
  decreased in 2010, down from 25%
  reporting decreased sales in the last six        More business owners (49%) cited taxes as
  months of 2009.                                   a pressing business concern as compared to
                                                    other business problems they face.
                     2010   2009
                                                   Nearly one third (29%) of small business
        44%                              45%        owners are concerned about a lack of sales.
              30%                  34%
                     22% 25%
                                                   Inflation, government regulations and
                                                    health care were cited by more than a
                                                    quarter of small business owners as a
                                                    pressing business concern.
      Increased     Decreased Stayed Same
                                                   Nearly one in four small business owners
                                                    identified financing and interest rates as a
                                                    pressing business concern.




3                                                 Copyright University of Northern Iowa 2011
                               University of Northern Iowa
                            2010 Survey of Iowa Small Business
                                   Summary of Results


Assessing Business Needs:                               Key Points:
Respondents were asked to identify in terms of
importance, their upcoming business needs               Small business owners are optimistic about
associated with eight key business functions.           Iowa’s economic outlook.
More small business owners need assistance
with finance and marketing/advertising than             2010 business starts and expansions
any other critical business area.                       statewide have increased slightly over the
                                                        last six months of 2009.

                                                        32% of small business owners plan to hire
              Topics of Importance
                                                        new staff during 2011.
                to Small Business
    44% 43%                                             50% of small business owners are planning
              32%
                    28% 26% 26%                         for new capital investment during 2011.
                                  22% 21%
                                             15%        The greatest business concern among small
                                                        business owners is taxes, followed by sales.

                                                        Small business owners need assistance with
                                                        finance, marketing and advertising to grow
                                                        their business in 2011.


                                                        Summary:
                                                        The Iowa small business community is very
                                                        slowly emerging from the recession. Sales
 44% of responding business owners                     are still flat but appear to be stabilizing;
  indicated financing assistance is very                some initial hiring is happening and the
  important.                                            economic perspective among
                                                        entrepreneurs themselves is positive.
 43% indicated marketing and advertising
  assistance is very important.                         In the coming year, small business owners
                                                        intend to focus upon improving their sales
 Only 15% ranked human resource                        volume through increased marketing and
  assistance as very important.                         advertising efforts, and by acquiring the
                                                        new capital to grow their business. In spite
 About 1/3 of responding business owners               of this, small business owners believe hiring
  need assistance with management issues                will continue to be slow in 2011.
  and 1/4 need assistance with tax issues.
                                                        Barriers to small business economic
 Collectively, 27% of responding business              recovery include taxes, access to capital at
  owners need assistance with web                       normal business terms, and continued
  development or technology issues.                     overall economic stagnation.




4                                                  Copyright University of Northern Iowa 2011

				
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Description: Annual survey of Iowa small businesses by the University of Northern Iowa.